God has blessed with three amazing nephews. Sure, I've always wanted a niece since there are not many girls in my family, but these three boys have taught me so much. I never knew that these babies, toddlers, and grade school boys could teach me pretty much how to reroute my life and work on myself. I have been home from school for two months and I've been reminded of these lessons in just this short time. Some of it is self-care and some of it is good for the soul.
1. It's okay to get a little dirty
When my youngest nephew was born I just had a feeling he was going to be hell on wheels. It's the kind of kid who gets into everything, isn't afraid to get muddy and jump into some puddles. I'm someone who hates getting dirty outside, I hate getting mud or dirt on my clothes or sneakers, but for about eight years now it's impossible to stay clean with boys. We have a washing machine and dryer for a reason! Go climb into that sandbox and "bake" those mud pies!
2. It's okay to laugh at yourself
I'm the type of person who is hilarious (if I do say so myself) but can also be pretty serious when it comes to my acting and writing. I'm in my 20's and everything is a little more stressful in your 20's for some reason, and they were the perfect medicine I needed. They are the kind of boys who laugh at everything even if it isn't funny. They tend to point out things that I'm doing wrong and I have to laugh about it because to them it's not a big deal. I need to be less uptight and have a little more laughter in my life. Around my nephews, I feel a little lighter.
3. It's okay to make mistakes
Like I mentioned above I am pretty serious when it comes to my crafts. When you do live theatre you want to be as crisp and precise as possible for each live show. Yet I am the queen of making mistakes in live theatre but thank god I'm good at improvising. My nephews have managed to let me lighten up a little bit and remind me that we're not perfect people. I'm going to forget to fill half their juice with water and I'm going to give them a sugar rush. It's going to be okay if we put the wrong shoes on the wrong foot. Making a mistake isn't the end of the world.
4. It's okay to be a kid again
I'm 23 and I feel like the older I get we are expected to act our age. It's okay to run and be chased by the waves at the beach. It's okay to play dress up with the clothes in your closet. Heck, it's okay to color outside of the lines! Us adults need to let loose a little more and enjoy the life around us. We are the ones who are in charge of our own happiness. Do something about it and be a kid again, even if it's only for a few minutes.
5. It's okay to celebrate the little things
Celebrating the little things is a self-care task I am learning to do in my life. I ate three meals today, let's celebrate. I did laundry today, let's celebrate. With kids celebrating the little things make those kids beam and I'll do anything to clap and see that glow on my nephew's faces. Celebrate that "highest tower in the world" they built in the living room. Celebrate that they ate everything on their plate. Celebrate that they put their shoes on by themselves. Celebrating the little things is so important. Kids need to feel like they're growing and feel accomplished just like us adults do.
I am so thankful for the three boys I call my nephews. I am so thankful for squishing on the couch with them and watch the same movie for the third time that day. I am so thankful to chase them down an aisle at Walmart. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with these boys and the lessons I keep learning more and more each day. Hug your nephews and nieces close, and tickle their toes!